Powerful teaching symmetry is at work when high school students aspiring to teach practice the art of instruction in the elementary classroom.
In their first fieldwork of the school year Thursday, 23 Killeen Independent School District Career Center education students taught lessons on reading and friendship in three elementary schools.
Tina Tamplen teaches two courses that span two periods and two single-period instruction classes. Most of those students will begin regular fieldwork soon alongside teachers in Killeen elementary and middle school classrooms.
As part of national Read for the Record Day on Thursday, the teacher hopefuls enjoyed a peek into pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes at Reeces Creek and Willow Springs elementary schools. They also helped with a family reading night at Iduma Elementary School.
Working in groups of three or four, the high school students from all four Killeen ISD high schools read the book “Otis” about an unlikely friendship between a calf and a tractor. Next, the older students led the younger ones in writing or drawing about friendship and sharing their thoughts.
Just in their sixth week of class, Tamplen said she was impressed how her students jumped into the classroom setting and worked well together.
“For some, reading is not their strongest skill and this gives them confidence, and they can see they can be a role model for students,” she said.
For the young teachers-to-be, the classroom time exposed them to the most powerful reason to teach.
“It’s amazing to get to work with kids,” said Mykala Cox, a Harker Heights High School sophomore. “It’s fun to get to know what they’re thinking.”
“They are adorable,” said Reina Marquez, an Ellison High School senior. “They loved telling us what they do with friends.”
To conclude the lessons, the children took turns explaining what they wrote on their paper apples and taped the fruit to a paper tree.
Several teachers praised the Career Center program aimed at preparing new educators. “I think it’s an awesome program,” said Willow Springs prekindergarten teacher Cheryl Nunn. “Children this age learn well with younger people, I think, because they are closer to the same age.”